My name is Corina WILLEY and I’ve been a frontline Constable for about 3 and a half years and am now based currently based at North Shore Policing Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.
I’m writing purely to encourage all Police employees to become members of the International Police Association (“IPA”).
I joined the IPA at the start of the year after speaking with Senior Sergeant William ‘Billy’ LAWRENCE about my upcoming travels around Europe. He is the current Vice President and regional Secretary here in Region 1.
I didn't know much about what IPA was and he has an office full of posters and badges and has been overseas so when we got chatting it was clear quickly that i could get help from other police officers overseas.
It turned out being a member of IPA also comes with awesome perks/opportunities such as:
- Cheap holiday homes all over the world!
- Chance to arrange ride-alongs internationally
- Meet ups with fellow officers from all walks of Police life worldwide
- Plan airport pick-ups and free tour guides (from willing IPA members)
Just quickly, I’ll tell you about my experience as an IPA member so far (I’ll try keep it quick).
Earlier in the year I went on an overseas trip. I was in Ireland for two days only so before I left I Facebook messaged the Ireland IPA Section through their page asking if there was any way I could arrange for someone to show me around while I was there. When you travel on your own it can be quite daunting and although I’ve been away before this was the first time I used the IPA.
The IPA organised to have me collected from the airport when I arrived which would be one of the stressful parts of landing in any foreign country– I had however already organised bus tickets so I didn’t require that but it gave me a confident feeling about the trip.
A member of the IPA section in Dublin volunteered to show me and another IPA member from the Malta Police, around the main tourist attractions in Dublin.
I was collected from my Hostel in the morning of the first day and the three of us headed out for the day in an unmarked Police patrol vehicle.
We were taken to the best fish and chips shop in the city to take care of the foggy head from our night out and then a 40 minute drive to Trim Castle which featured in the movie Braveheart. It has been here since 1300 and is one of the few Norman castles still standing in Europe. We then moved onto the Jamieson’s Distillery and also an old Police station with Court tunnel which they told me was haunted- maybe they think I scare easily We ended the day with a trip to a Court hearing for a gang related case involving a serious assault.
Between the three of us we were able to exchange work stories during the day. It is one of the things that I noticed very early on in the day was that we may be separated by distance but we had similar ‘better work stories’. To be fair mine were pretty lame compared to their stories as it turned out they are both Detectives involved in the Human trafficking sections in their home countries. One thing I would say with confidence is that IPA allows you to meet other young police staff who are serving in very similar roles. I was surprised at how much at ease we were with each other from the outset and I now have two great contacts who I stay in touch with through social media.
We had such a great day out and I was invited to their after-work drinks two days later at the main Dublin Police station, unfortunately (super gutted), I was leaving the country the day prior to these drinks so couldn’t go!
When I left they made sure I knew that if I were to ever come back to let them know well in advance so I’m able to attend some work drinks and see more of Ireland. They also encouraged me to let other Kiwi Cops who are taking time out on travelling around Europe know my story and that they too would be more than welcome! It was very obvious that they loved showing off where they live as much as I do, national pride is a great thing.
I had also messaged the Croatia IPA page as well as the Malaga, Spain IPA pages – Both were quick to get back to me and advised me to just walk into any Police Station and show my IPA card and they would organise something. My trip went quick and I had a lot organised so I didn’t take them up on that offer but having that card in my bag was re assuring.
Now I am back I have to get my head into work and save my money and store my leave for my next trip but I really wanted to let any one who isn’t IPA know how easy it was to meet up with Police around the world.
I’ve also just found out about another awesome new perk we have now is the discounted Snow Planet passes!
Four day snow passes will be available every day. Each pass will get you boots, helmets, boards or skis plus full day entry to the snow. And all for just $20 a pass. This means I can prepare for my trip to the Alps without breaking the bank ….
I also know there are opportunities to get overseas to conferences or to complete some development courses...in a Castle.. in Germany Who Knew !!!!